Rules Relating to Tier 4 Student Visas


Find out what visa conditions you need to observe whilst studying under the Tier 4 route

As a Tier 4 (General) visa holder, it's very important that you understand the conditions of your visa. If you do not observe the conditions of your visa, you may experience difficulties applying for visas in the future.

Working during your studies

  • If you are studying at degree level (Bachelor degree level or above) you can only work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time
  • If you are studying at below degree level you can only work for a maximum of 10 hours per week during term time
  • You can work full time during vacation periods i.e. Easter and Christmas breaks – please check the Goldsmiths website to confirm your term dates
  • You can work full time between the official end date of your programme (as stated on your CAS statement) and the expiry date of your visa if you successfully finish your studies
  • If you are studying on a Masters level or PhD level programme, then the summer months are still considered to be term time for you
  • You can prove your “Right to Work” to an employer using the Home Office online service
  • You cannot be self-employed or engage in business activities. Business activity includes working for a business, not as an employee. For example, as a contractor
  • You cannot set up a business, or be involved in the management of a business, for example, as a director

 Police Registration

 You might need to register with the police as a condition of your visa. Not all students need to do this, only certain nationalities. You can visit the Immigration Advisory Service web pages for more information, there is also a video available to assist you with this process.

We normally inform you at enrolment if you are required to register with the police and offer advice at this point, so hopefully, you have already completed this step if you are required to do so.

 If you do have a police registration certificate, then you need to remember to update it if you change your visa or your address. You can visit your local police station for help with this.


 All students are required to attend any classes and seminars set by their department. However, because you have a student visa, there is a requirement attached to your visa that you should be aware of. You should not miss classes without authorisation and unless you have a serious reason to do so. If you do not attend when you should do, it could affect your visa status. If you have concerns about your attendance you should speak to your tutor or the senior tutor in your department.

 Change of circumstances

 Goldsmiths, as your visa sponsor, is required to keep the Home Office up to date about your studies.  If your information is not up to date, or your circumstances change and you don’t tell us, then it could affect your visa status and studies.

 Please email us as soon as possible if any of the following happens:

 You change your visa type, for example, if you obtain a work visa or a spouse visa

  • You plan to take an interruption in your studies
  • You plan to, or have, withdrawn from your studies
  • You complete your course earlier than expected
  • You wish to change courses
  • You obtain a new passport
  • You have concerns about your visa status or any of the conditions associated with your visa

 You should also make sure that your contact details are up to date on your student record. You can do this using MyGoldsmiths or by visiting the Student Centre in the Richard Hoggart Building.

 Goldsmiths has a legal obligation to notify the Home Office in the following circumstances:

  • You stop attending your course or miss too many classes
  • You do not enrol on your course by the latest enrolment date
  • You withdraw from your studies
  • You complete your course earlier than expected

 Please be aware that if we do notify the Home Office of a change in circumstance we will always email you first to advise you, another important reason why you must keep your contact details updated via MyGoldsmiths.

 Changing courses

 It is very difficult to change courses if you have a student visa. If you are considering this, then please be aware that it is not always possible to transfer programmes. If you request to change programmes, then the process involves the Immigration Advisory Services liaising with you about your visa and assessing whether the change is permitted. You should continue to attend classes on the course you were issued a visa for until it is confirmed by the Immigration Advisory Service that you are legally able to change programmes.

 It is very important that you abide by the conditions of your visa, failure to do so can have serious consequences for your current student visa and any future immigration applications you may make.

 If you wish to contact us please email us on or alternatively you can book online to attend one of our drop-in sessions, which take place at various times each week in G15 Deptford Town Hall.

 For good practice, we also advise you to make copies of all your personal documents (including your passport and visa), keep all Home Office letters safe and report any change of circumstance to us as soon as possible.

 More information on protecting your Tier 4 status can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.